Hobart is Tasmania's capital city, and the second oldest city in Australia after Sydney. Founded in 1803, Hobart was an important strategic harbor for the British Navy. While other more remote areas of Tasmania were used as penal colonies, Hobart developed as a center for agriculture and forestry. Though the port of Hobart is less industrious today, the city is home to several major industries, the University of Tasmania, and the major financial and government institurions of the State. Hobart is a particularly beautiful city, streching out along either shore of the Derwent River as it opens to meet the Tasman Sea. The western shore is dominated by Mt Wellington (1100 m) with it's imposing summit cliffs known as the Organ Pipes. The Mountain and the River dominate Hobart, defining it's geography, climate, and recreation.
Although it is a small city (pop. ~202,000), Hobart has a rich and diverse culture. Visitors will enjoy browsing the markets and art galleries along the waterfront, the cosmopolitan dining of North Hobart, and the historic charm of Battery Point. The Mountain is a world of it's own, and there are many other attractions of historic or cultural interest. Hobart is also a good base from which to explore the rest of the island, particularly expeditions to the rugged South-West.